My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I’m not even sure I can pinpoint why I liked To Desire A Devil so much. I think it comes down to how good the writing is. All aspects of the book just work for me, even when I wouldn’t have expected them to.
From the Hachette Web Site:
NOTHING IS MORE INTOXICATING-
Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl’s heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?
Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle’s home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh-and luring her into his bed.
THAN SURRENDERING TO A DEVIL.
Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud’s savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice’s love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title-even if it means sacrificing her innocence?
To Desire A Devil felt fresh to me, even though it’s hard to do anything really unique in a historical romance (although I’m not sure I’ve come across “hero captured by American Indians” in a book based in England before– usually, they’re captured by the French.)
Beatrice should have annoyed me. I don’t usually have much patience with young women who refuse all previous relationships, waiting for a passion which will sweep her away . She fit thes description, but I wasn’t annoyed. I was interested in what happened to her, and I enjoyed reading about her life.
The portrayal of the relationship between Beatrice, her uncle and Reynaud was a strength of the book. He had raised her from a small child, and you can see the affection between them even while they recognize each other’s weaknesses. Her uncle had inherited his Earldom when Reynaud was declared dead 7 years ago, and Reynaud’s return means he stands to lose everything he has built his life around during that time. He’s not going to give it up easily.
On the other hand, Reynaud has lost everything already. He wants the last 7 years of his life back, and if that isn’t possible, he wants as many of the things that were taken from him as he can get. He isn’t inclined to deal reasonably with the person who currently has his title, his money, and his home.
Beatrice has to figure out how to maintain her relationship with both of the men she loves in very different ways.
Beatrice’s friendship with other women in the book wasn’t a primary focus, but led to some good insight and some fun moments. I liked this quote from her friend Lottie:
Well! Then you shall simply have to play nurse to a wickedly handsome man– even if he has far too much hair at the moment– who is ether a long-lost earl or a black scoundrel who might imperil your virtue. I must say I’m terribly jealous.”
Beatrice’s virtue is indeed imperiled. This book features more sex scenes that most of the historical romances I’ve read. Take this as a warning or an enticement, whichever you’d like. I think they were well executed.
I didn’t find that I was missing anything by not having read the previous books in the series, although I did spend time wondering which characters had been featured. I think I guessed two of the three couples, I should go see if I’m right!
Overall, I found the To Desire a Devil kept me reading, not wanting to put it down. That’s the most important thing in a fun read like this.
Thank you to Hachette Books for providing me with this review book and allowing me to host a giveaway of 5 copies of To Desire A Devil!
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